It has been one helluva week for Adrien Broner.
First he learned that he was wanted by the police. Then he lost his WBA World super lightweight title for failing to make weight at yesterday’s weigh-in.
But Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, Ohio, pulled it together long enough to win Friday’s night at the DC Armory in Washington, DC, by stopping Ashley Theophane (39-7-1, 11 KOs), from Las Vegas by way of Paddington, London, at 1:10 of round nine.
Fighting out of the blue corner in silver trunks, Broner was less impressive than usual. Despite his superior skills and athleticism, his vaunted speed and power, he struggled to get Theophane out of there, after dominating the first four rounds of the fight.
Theophane, fighting out of the red corner in gold and black trunks, was a huge underdog coming in. His lack of power was a liability, but he felt that if he could take Broner into the later rounds, he had a chance to win the WBA title Broner was forced to vacate.
Broner outclassed Theophane in the first half of the fight, but the Brit hung in there. Theophane turned the tide in round five and won the next three rounds.
In round nine Broner landed a big right hand uppercut that wobbled Theophane. Several rights followed. Theophane was hurt. With his man on the ropes, Broner landed a low blow followed by a right to the head. Theophane moved to the center of the ring and gestured that Broner had hit him low. The referee Luis Pabon thought that Theophane was signaling defeat and waved it off.
During his post-fight interview, Broner said, “When people fight me, they come with their ‘A’ game, and he came with his ‘A’ game. But even his ‘A’ game wasn’t enough tonight.
“As you know, I’ve been going through a lot and for me to come in here and bottle everything up and do what I did, I want to give myself a pat on the back.”
Theophane wasn’t so sure. For one thing, he didn’t agree with the stoppage.
“I thought the stoppage was premature,” he said, “because I thought I was in the fight. Me and Broner were going at it. It looked like he was starting to get tired because he started to move around and wasn’t able to stay there with me as much.
“I thought the fight was back and forth and I think the next four rounds would have been the same. No way should the fight have gotten stopped. It’s a shame the referee did that. I was telling the referee, ‘I’m okay, I’m okay.’ Then he waived it off. I don’t know what he was thinking.”
Turning his attention from Theophane, Broner called out Floyd Mayweather.
“I’m a man,” he said, “but at the end of the day, somebody that I look up to, someone that I admire took the chance to do an interview and talk bad about me. I’m a man—Floyd has got to see me.”
Mayweather was laughing as Broner spoke.
“I come from nothing,” continued Broner. “I’m talking about water and Cornflakes. And I would never let a man disrespect me like that. So you gotta see me. I don’t care if we’re sparring or if we’re fighting, let’s get it on.”
(Photos by Sumio Yamada)
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.